The Next Girl by Emiko Jean #review

Book cover of The Next Girl by Emiko Jean

Today’s book review is of Emiko Jean’s new novel, The Next Girl! Read on to find out what I thought…

Title: The Next Girl
Emiko Jean
Publisher: Viking


I guess you’re probably wondering about the next girl. Because there’s always another girl, right? A girl waiting to be taken. To be swept away. I’ll tell you about her.

It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun lost her sister, and she’s been searching ever since; for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. Happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

Until one day, local teenager Ellie Black is found in Washington State woods. Two years after her disappearance, she’s an echo of herself, but alive.

But something’s not right about this girl. Where has she been, and who is she protecting?

Chelsey has to find out. For herself, for her sister, and before the next girl is taken.

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My review:

The Next Girl is a chillingly gripping thriller that intrigued me from the start. The characters are convincing and the story, although dramatic in some ways, is scarily believable…

We follow two key characters: Ellie, who is abducted one day after wandering off outside to find a toilet during a party, and Detective Chelsey, haunted by her sister’s disappearance 20 years ago. When Ellie suddenly resurfaces after 2 years, a determined Chelsey takes charge of the case, desperate to uncover the truth.

The novel excels in its suspense. We, along with Chelsey, really want to understand what really happened to Ellie. Her memories – revealed through alternating chapters – keep us guessing about her escape and the secrets she seems to be keeping.

There are some dark parts to this story, as you’d expect from the subject matter, but also in the way we experience Ellie’s memories during her time in captivity. The novel also addresses the different ways victims are treated by the police depending on their race and socioeconomic status. The ending ties up some different threads interestingly but it did feel a bit rushed to me.

Overall, The Next Girl is a gripping and thought-provoking read. It’s perfect for those who enjoy dark, suspenseful thrillers with a touch of social commentary. I highly recommend it!

My rating: 4/5

Many thanks to the publisher, Viking, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.


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